Former Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Wednesday was appointed as the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). Along with Katheria, Bharatiya Janata Party’s SC Morcha L Murugan has been appointed as the vice- chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). The appointments were cleared by Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s Office, which was then approved by the President, Pranab Mukherjee. Katheria and Murugan will hold office for a period of three years from the date of their joining the constitutional body tasked with safeguarding interests of people belonging to Scheduled Castes. Katheria, a former union minister, had been accused of forging his graduation and post-graduation mark-sheets. Following the charges, Katheria was dropped from the Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers in July last year. Katheria had courted a major controversy in February last year due to his alleged hate speech.
However, the lawmaker had strongly denied all the allegations. In other important appointments, K Ramulu from Telangana, Yogendra Paswan from Bihar and Swaraj Vidwan from Uttarakhand have been made members of the commission.
Katrheria will replace P L Punia, a Congress Rajya Sabha MP, who term ended in October 2016. The previous vice-chairperson Raj Kumar Verka had retired six months ago. In November last year, Raju Parmar completed his tenure as a member of the commission, while the tenure of Ishwar Singh and P M Kamalamma ended in March, PTI reported.
Earlier, former an IANS reported that Katheria can also be appointed as Bharatiya Janata Party’s next Uttar Pradesh chief. Sources in the BJP told IANS, that Katheria’s name may have been finalised after consultations with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the party.